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Nokia Lumia 625 Buyer’s Review: The Good, The Worst & The Miserable

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Nokia-Lumia-625-Windows-PhoneFor those looking for a decent smartphone at a budget price (around $200-$250) Nokia Lumia 625 is that darling. Available in black, white, yellow, red or green, the LTE 4G-enabled beautiful phone runs Windows Phone 8 and is 5.2 x 2.8 x 0.4 inches in size and weighs 159g.

It has a 4.7 inches LCD screen, bigger than some of its predecessors. The screen is touch enabled and has a resolution of 800 x 480 or 201 ppi density. The screen is made of a Corning® Gorilla® Glass 2 which is slightly curved. The front screen has the home or back, start and search key below the screen while Nokia brand name and front-facing camera above.

For those used to ejecting phone batteries out when it hangs, Lumia 625 has a non-removable 2,000mAh Li-Polymer battery, which can run six hours on heavy use-apps, music etc and more on just voice.

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Though the phone comes with an internal storage of just 8GB you can add a memory card of up to 64GB for your music, documents or movies, depending on what you like and an added 7GB from Microsoft’s OneDrive which you’ll need a Nokia or Microsoft Account to access.

5-Product-Page-Lumia-Max-KSP-1500x1500-jpgFor those who like vacations, the phone has two cameras. The rear camera has 5MP-not Carl Lewis lens but it’s a normal camera for any typical vacations and non-professional photos. Its front-facing camera is just 0.3MP (VGA) and off course not great, but still good for selfies if you use Nokia’s Glam Me app. If you have a family, or just your girlfriend/boyfriend and want to capture every moments, the phone can capture videos of up to 1080p at 30 fps but the videos are crappy if there’s less light in the room.

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With 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, the Lumia 625 is faster than some of its successors but its 512 MB RAM is bogus. The phone has no NFC which is not an issue as NFC is dead anyway. Also wireless charging isn’t available but you don’t need it.

For connectivity, its version 4.0 Bluetooth works just fine and it’s Dual-band WiFi too.

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Physical looks

Nokia Lumia 625 is beautiful with its polycarbonate shell on the back. It’s Gorilla Glass 2 display makes it both sturdy and attractive. On the right, our Orange-red Lumia 625 has a volume button, power/lock key and a camera button with two shutter steps, right is for access by our thumbs. We think this is a plus to the designers. At the bottom, just below the home button, is a micro-USB port for charging which also works as a data transfer port. The left side is squeaky clean with no buttons or ports for better holding we guess but inside there is an micro SIM card port and a micro SD card port while on top is a 3.5mm headphone jack.

Down on the front screen is the back, home and search key while Nokia logo and front-facing camera above. On the back, down near the micro-USB socket is a tiny loudspeaker section and a second small Nokia logo in the middle of the cover. I had a hard time getting off the phone’s back cover but if you place your thumb somewhere in the top half of the case, near the micro-USB end and kinda bend it, you can get it off. The phone comes in Orange, black, white, yellow and lime.

Nokia-Lumia-625-coloursWith a 4.7 inch display screen, 0.4 inch bigger than the Lumia 720 and Lumia 820 which have 4.3, Lumia 625 becomes better for navigation, typing, viewing images among others. Lacking ClearBlack its black looks more of navy or dark grey on the display.

Software and applications

When we updated to Amber black, we realized the phone boots a little bit faster. Some other plus that comes with the Amber update include an FM radio player, fixes the Data Sense app and stirs the Xbox Music and Internet Explorer.

Nokia Lumia comes with various softwares and applications for work, entertainment and others. It has a Calculator, Clock, Calendar, Alarm clock, Reminders, Family Room, Kid’s Corner, OneNote, Social networks among others and Excel, Word, Powerpoint, OneNote, and Adobe acrobat reader and Company Hub for enterprise applications.

For communications the phone has Gmail, Nokia Mail, MS Exchange Active Sync, Windows Live / Hotmail / Outlook.com, Yahoo! Mail and Viewing and editing of email attachments, Email attachments, Always up to date, Conversational view on email, Inbox filtering, Text-to-speech message reader though I received and answered emails, it kept on crashing and I could not reply, so I could only read emails and reply via another device. For instant messaging: WhatsApp, Yahoo! Messenger, Skype IM, Facebook,   Viber, Vimeo.

With its Internet Explorer 10 you can access any network such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter. HERE Drive was our best, with its voice-guided directions such as audible speed limit warnings, directions and an offline commute assistance, you can drive to any corner of the continent while those on foot can use HERE Maps to explore a city, go to malls, hotels and venues in their hoods.

For entertainment the phone has games such as Temple Run among others. For lovers of photography, apps like Nokia Smart Camera, Cinemagraph lens, Panorama lens, Bing vision, Nokia Glam Me are so helpful. The Nokia Smart Camera: Shoots a sequence of photos, making it easier to capture great moments while the Cinemagraph makes gif photo and movie-like animations. PhotoBeamer is an in-built photo projector to a larger screen while Nokia Glam Me Lens which automatically enhances selfies by toning, eye resizing, teeth whitening and all sorts of artistic effects.

Nokia_Lumia_625_Group_465The secondary camera is a VGA camera with resolutions of 640 x 480 pixels and can be used for Video recording, Still image capture, Video call but it’s not so great especially if the venue is not as bright.

Music apps such as the Nokia MixRadio with free streamed mixes of music created to your personal taste that you just click and play. No subscription and no advertising, just great music everyday.



With exactly the same specs as my friend’s Huawei Ascend W1, which also has a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, the phone takes longer to boot than we expected, or maybe we just love speed. Some apps like Cinemagraph take a while to be ready for use.

It’s dual-core 1.2GHz CPU and the Snapdragon S4 processor with Adreno 305 GPU makes it one of the best budget smartphone in the market but the designers kill it with a bogus RAM of just 512MB making it crappy for gamers, and when we try Temple Run, the phone kinda heats up and hangs repeatedly. Overall, on messaging, voice and music, the phone is all wonderful. Work applications such as email also work well apart from a slight issue with Gmail on our end-it keeps hanging on us, especially on email replies. With Windows Phone 8 and 8GB internal storage and 7GB OneDrive-then called SkyDrive, we had access to thousands of free apps in the Nokia Appstore. We did try and fit in a memory card in its microSD card slot (open for up to 64GB) but we figured there was a little problem accessing our files from the memory card, the problem might have been our handset though, we are leaving it open.

But compared to my friend’s Huawei Ascend W1, Lumia 625 only fails us on the battery by an hour or even less, and it looks flashier and slicker-for those who like looks than functionality. Lumia 625’s user interface is better than the Ascend’s though being Windows Phone 8, the apps, tiles and looks are somewhat similar.

My battery could take me a whole day at work, say from six to six, on voice, music, photos and basic LTE browsing, reading emails and 4 more hours minus such engagement. The 2,000mAh, non-removable battery is not a plus, compared to other smartphones which have 1500mAh.


Key Specs for the Nokia Lumia 625

Primary camera sensor size: 5 MP

Display size: 4.7”

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4

Colours: Orange, black, white, yellow and lime

Size: Length: 133.2 mm, Width: 72.2 mm,  Thickness2: 9.2 mm

Weight: 159 g

Battery: 2000 mAh, 3.7 Volts

Maximum 3G talk time: 10 h

Maximum cellular network browsing time: 6 h

Maximum Wi-Fi network browsing time: 5 h

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon™ S4, Dual-core 1.2Ghz

Memory:  RAM: 512 MB

Internal memory: 8 GB

Expandable memory 64GB MicroSD

Free OneDrive storage: 7 GB Main camera


We like

Awesome design, phone is beautiful

The 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor

Good battery life

4G enabled

4.7-inch 480 x 800 IPS LCD touch enabled display,

64GB MicroSD slot


We hate

With its huge display size, it needed better resolution.

With just 512 MB RAM  the price is a bit high.

The phone front facing and rear camera are not up o the phone’s price and class.

We thought the storage was too little

Too heavy at 159g

No file explorer to access my external memory card storage.

No lighting on the dedicated hardware keys on the screen, ‘Back’, ‘Home key’, & ‘Search’, making it a phone to use only during day.

Phone used to heat on games and at times hang abruptly and we could be unreachable or at times its touch screen could go unresponsive and we could hate seeing clients call and we couldn’t just pick up.

You can’t use the headsets to accept and reject calls or change music tracks and FM channels.


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Sam Wakoba
Sam Wakobahttp://techmoran.com
Taking you on tour through Africa's tech and business ecosystem, one story at a time since 2010! Based out of Nairobi, Kenya, Sam is the founder and managing director of Moran Media, which runs  TechMoran.com, various other digital platforms and a startup incubation hub for Kenya's youthful entrepreneurs. Drop me a mail at [email protected]

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